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Crystal Spring Landowner Takes Fierce Stance Against City Purchase Proposal

Pantelides said the purchase of the property wouldn't be happening anytime soon.

Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides said a proposal to use local funds to buy the site for Crystal Spring isn't something that will happen overnight—particularly after its landowner said she had no interest in the idea.

A developer's plan to use 190 acres of land off Forest Drive into a mixed-use retirement community became one of the most contentious issues in the 2013 mayoral race, in which Pantelides narrowly defeated incumbent mayor Josh Cohen.

Just a few weeks into office, Pantelides announced a potential plan of action on the issue.

In an article published by The Capital on Monday, Pantelides outlined the possibility of buying the site before it is developed using millions of dollars from local funding set aside to preserve open space. Such a plan would require state, city and county funds, and the cooperation of the County Executive and the House Speaker Michael Busch, Pantelides said.

During public testimony at Monday's City Council meeting, the subject was broached by Robert Eades, an outspoken commentator on city and county politics. 

Eades said instead of buying the site, the city could do wonders by investing a few million dollars in public housing.

Pantelides responded that the purchase of the property, which he estimated at "a couple million dollars," wouldn't be happening anytime soon.

"That's not something that I immediately plan to do," Pantelides said.

But the landowner was firm in saying the purchase would not happen. In a written statement from property owner Janet Richardson-Pearson read aloud by a representative of the developers, she called Pantelides' proposed plan, "a recirculated pipe dream of a no-growth contingent."

"I have absolutely no interest in selling my property to the state or city. I want to see it developed as planned," Richardson-Pearson wrote.

After Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson asked, Pantelides clarified his intent, saying that it was not his plan, but merely a possibility that would first have to come from Speaker Busch. 

Crystal Spring Development spokesman Andrew Bing said he hoped to meet with Pantelides and staff about the development in the future.

Learn more about Crystal Spring in previous articles on Patch:
skip hall January 15, 2014 at 12:16 PM
The crystal spring development needs to be stopped at all costs,if the owner doesn't want to sell make the path to development a costly one. Annapolis does not need the added congestion nor does it need more retirement communities.Follow the money and you will see a who's who of corrupt politicians and for Robert eades he should just shut his face more than enough money has been flushed away in public housing, maybe he should encourage his people to educate themselves to rise up from public housing not to make it a career choice!
Mark January 15, 2014 at 12:47 PM
The Mayor-in-Training sounds a lot like Mitt Romney: "On my first day in office, I'm going to repeal ObamaCare". In MIT's case, it's Crystal Springcare. So Pantelides is going to ask Finance Director where the ATM is so he can have the "local funding" to buy out the landowner. Watch out, citizens; I see a special assessment coming or maybe MIT wants to issue a TIF to raise the capital for his new "open space". Crystal Spring won't get built...Yahoo!! Oh wait, we have to pay for it? Since he's now done firing career City employees that were in his way in support of Crystal Spring, it will be fun to see him and his undeservingly giant sized ego make a horse race out this.
skip hall January 16, 2014 at 08:50 AM
Mark you sound like an A typical bleeding heart sore losing libtard,i for one would love to see the property used as a park or other open space.Been to Baltimore or D.C. lately? Annapolis doesn't need that kind of gridlock and congestion from the proposed development. I would rather see my taxes increase for something useful like a park not to pay the way for illegal aliens hopefully the sanctuary city crap gets dumped as well.And as for the career city employees the firing of the city manager was long overdue, why pay a manager to do the job of the mayor? We need smaller gov't not the liberal mindset of tax and spend and uncontrolled government growth
Mark January 16, 2014 at 09:59 AM
Wow! Libtard?! Did you think that up somewhere between homeroom and math class? Sorry - when you resort to name-calling, your relevance just went out the window. Nevermind that you couldn't address my concerns about taxes increasing to pay for the Mayor's New Park. Good luck in your posting career.

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